Player Spotlight: White Willow

250em01aIn this Player Spotlight we are looking at White Willow. He seems to grab attention in GC when he is there, so we sent some questions to help us learn more about him.

GM Rikoo: Who are you and how long have you played Illy?

WW: I am a guy who has, up until Illy, played pure war strategy games. I started playing Illy in September, 2015. My real life name is Jim.

If you could add any one thing to the game, what would it be?

I think if I could add one thing to the game it would be speed, but, surprisingly not a lot. I have learned that the many layers of Illy need time to develop and those without the patience are missing the most rewarding part of the game.

If you could delete any one thing from the game, what would it be?

Deleting something is easy because Illy is a game where you don’t have to complete all parts of the game. So the player can do what they are interested in.

Who is your bestest friend of all time in Illy?

I have a lot of friends in the game and I care about all of them. To answer your question I will go with Rill for her devotion to the game.

Who is your arch nemesis?

No nemesis at this time, but that can change… you never know. I am in DSA, a peaceful training alliance and work with Pink Camo another good friend.

If you could give a tip not to newbies, but to vets, what would it be?

My tip to vets? It’s not advice on how to play the game for sure. There are many here that could play circles around me. I would say if you are bored for any reason look around you and find a friend to support.

Awesome, thanks for answering our questions, White Willow! If you would like to nominate someone for Player Spotlight, please do so by sending an email to community@illyriad.co.uk and be sure to include the name of the player and reasons why they should be highlighted!

GM Rikoo

Illyriad’s 5th birthday introduces sweeping changes

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ILLYRIAD!

It’s a bit of a shocker, but it’s Illyriad‘s five year anniversary.

While the server booted up for the first time on the 21st of February 2010, players didn’t get access until the 22nd; so that’s the official start date for this grand journey.

In that time we’ve seen many, many changes to the game.

For those who weren’t around at the beginning, here’s a sample of what you missed from the early days! We started off with a “world tree” theme around the borders, with all the content placed inside large scrolls.

The town map was a very different beast:


The world map was randomly generated (rather than hand-drawn) in those days, so there were no rivers, no seas or lakes, no sprawling forests or mountain ranges and no regions; just a mish-mash of different squares. The world map, with Chat version 1 visible is seen below. Note the awesome way the arctic area blends with the rest of the map. Subtle, huh?


POP-QUIZ FACTOIDS:

During these five years, you have:

  • Undertaken some 62 million trade missions and traded 4 trillion Gold (4 thousand billion)!
  • Performed 21 million harvesting missions and nearly 12 million quests
  • Gone on 125 million military missions and nearly 40 thousand sieges for a total of 1.6 billion casualties
  • Sent 104 million ingame mails and spoken 334 million words in chat. That’s the equivalent of the entire works of Shakespeare 377 times over, or the equivalent of 425 Bibles – in chat alone. I won’t speak to the relative quality of the text 😉
  • 287,000 players have been through the gates, settling 350,000 towns across 1,300 alliances
  • You have collectively played 22,364,898.12 hours of Illyriad
  • That’s 931,870.75 days or 2,553 years!

During this 5-year period we have had just under 6 hours of unscheduled downtime, and 15 hours of downtime in total (including patches and server moves).

We’ve often stated that we are applying lessons learned from our work on Age of Ascent to Illyriad. Some things you’ve seen, some you’ve not – a lot of have been slightly abstract and based around infrastructure and capabilities. They have all made the game better and helped it to run smoother.

However, today we’d like to share something even more concrete; and hopefully a little more exciting than the existing benefits that AoA development has provided to Illyriad, such as progression graphs and private chat (even if TC thinks graphs are exciting).

Please bear in mind this is early days and there is a lot more to come and improvements to be made. We are not yet at an beta stage and taking bug reports, but…

Illyriad needs a lick of paint:

More interactivity:

1425321038townmenu
Different perspectives, showing where units are travelling to:


A grand strategic view of the whole world:


[See larger version]

Where the tactical map, strategic map and regional map are the same thing, and all full screen:


[See larger version]

Where coastline and rivers look more realistic, and where the map can be viewed from different rotational angles to better see the lay of the land:


[See larger version]

And where moving around the map is fast, and touch enabled, pinch to zoom ready, and where the data is pulled from across the entire world – all visible at once.

Exciting times ahead, for sure, but let’s look at all of the massive changes we put in for this anniversary:

Infantry and craftinghttps://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-7-day-warning-infantry-crafting_topic6166.html

Smoothing out research times: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-trade-hides-research-exodus_topic6167.html

Building changes 1: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-changes-to-building-effects_topic6169.html

Build changes 2: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-build-time-changes_topic6170.html

Council meeting lore story: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/the-meeting_topic6173.html

UIv4 Preview: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/22feb15-uiv4-preview_topic6174.html

More than 10 cities!: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/23feb15-beyond-10-cities_topic6175.html

API and XML: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/23feb15-api-xml-notifications_topic6176.html

New medal options: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/23feb15-new-medals-options_topic6178_post85155.html

Google Wallet dies: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/24feb15-google-wallet-retirement_topic6181.html

Referral and tutorial changes: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/24feb15-tutorial-referral-programme-changes_topic6183.html

In-game mail XML feed: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/24feb15-xml-feed-for-ingame-mail_topic6182.html

Account sitter limit changes: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/24feb15-account-sitting-90day-limit_topic6184.html

Faction units!: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/25feb15-faction-unit-release_topic6186.html

Notifications tweaks: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/25feb15-more-detail-in-notifications_topic6188.html

Removing SOV: https://forum.illyriad.co.uk/03mar15-removing-sovereignty_topic6207.html

 

Stay tuned, and thanks for joining us on this journey!

Player Spotlight: King Korr!

King KorrThis time, the Player Spotlight goes out to King Korr. I received quite a few nominations for the player so hopefully his answers won’t be horrible. If they are, siege him and then bring me his gold! MUAHAHA!

I’m kidding. He seems like a great guy and wonderful player!

Answers below. Thanks KK!

How long have you been playing Illy?

I have be a royal in the land of Illyriad for two and a half year’s now. In that time I saw and faced many horrors including the naked Elf Forest and discovering what a trout slap is. (We don’t want to know – Rikoo)

When you first played, what do you remember thinking first?

My very first thought was ‘what have I stepped in to?’ — as compared to the other games I had played online before Illy, they were quite simple while Illy has a lot of depth to it. There are still mysteries that have yet to be solved, and I am still learning things about the game to this day.

Why do you think people have nominated you for Player Spotlight?

I’d like to think it’s for the help I give members in Wheel of Time or Heroes of the Horn, as they are the main two alliances I have been in. I would even help members with tasks that would require me to leave the alliances for a period of time. Plus, I sort of keep the Mule Master from getting up to any trouble …

It’s more than likely I let the maidens get me in to trouble and mischief in alliance chat. As my fellow alliance members will tell you, I am a quiet and shy person and I never lead anyone astray ( /me looks over shoulders to make sure TheDiva, LadyDianna and Kylinneira ain’t in ear-shot!)

If you had developer powers…. no, scratch that – if you had MORE than developer powers and could make the game do anything, what would you like to add to it?

One simple word: DRAGONS!

Okay let me expand on that. Illy is a land with magic and fantasy creatures in it yet there isn’t a dragon in sight! We have all type of units to use spear, sword, bow and mounted troops but as of yet no aerial troops. Just think if players could assign dragons to their armies… it would add a whole new level to the game! Each race could have their own type of dragon, and humans have firebreathing (which would be good on plains. Dwarves could have drakes which suit mountains and the same with elves and orcs.)

I would also make a quest of it so players have to got through certain steps to unlock the research such as finding hidden knowledge so their saddle makers and mages could learn how to safely control the dragons without having them eating your people. You could also have a handicap so for each dragon you have, you lose a certain amount of food or cow production.

I’d also like to  allow troops to move via way points! Like, being able to send troops from A to B to C without having to go back to A would be a massive time saver and wouldn’t have a big an impact on the game.

How important do you think PvP is to Illyriad?

I’d say quite important, as it’s another layer to explore and master in Illy. If you’re attacking a player or another alliance, each involves different things to make sure you have a chance of success. Even if you are attacking, you still have to think of defense for your troops that will be sieging cities, unless your goal is not to capture but to make sure your target can’t rebuild their stockpile of troops to hit you back.

If they do hit you back and you or your alliance loses all your troops, it’s making sure to have supplies set up to make sure you can rebuild quickly enough.

Why do you play Illyriad? You can be honest with me. Go ahead.

The people, the community in Illy is great. In the time I’ve been playing I’ve meet some great people who I talk to outside of the game. Even though I have been playing for two and a half years I’ve yet to find or hear of another game that has a community that is so friendly and helpful. Newbies are sometimes wary of the great greetings they get when they start as they think we only send the res if we get something in return, which is sort of true as each player that stays and grows adds to Illy, which mean’s we all gain!

Where can Illy improve the most?

Magic! Magic in Illy is so badly under-used and developed, like we have a magetower but yet can not recruit mages to accompany troops or to bewitch cities on the far part of the map (make them like traders with increasing upkeep the more you have). It would give those that want to explore the magical part off Illy more depth from the game.

You have a choice between the biggest and most powerful armies in the game or the largest and most profitable trade business; what do you choose?

Armies every time! I have answered the call of the Viking and it’s seeped into my blood!

 

Thanks again to King Korr for answering our questions. Now, go bug him in game!

GM Rikoo

 

Player Spotlight: Jane DarkMagic!

janedarkmagicHello everyone and welcome to another Player Spotlight! This time we’re talking with Jane DarkMagic, a long-time Illy player.

How long have you played Illy for? What first attracted you to the game?

I’ve played for just over 3 years since August 2011. I started playing Illy after I rage quit Evony for the second time. I had duo’ed a level 16 historic city with my husband and our own alliance stole it out from under us. Illy has some similarities, in that it’s a city-building strategy game, but is more of a sandbox and the impact of your diplomatic decisions last a much longer time since the server never resets. The devs are also much more responsive to serious problems and cheating.

Your name is evil. Why is your character SO EVIL?

I borrowed my surname from a Penny Arcade podcast. They play Dungeons and Dragons and my favorite player character is named Jim Darkmagic. My character is definitely evil though. A little in-game conflict makes it much more interesting. I am never without an in-game nemesis, and I think I would be bored if I had to play nice.

If you could control one of your friend’s armies to attack anyone you’d like, which friend would you control and who would you attack?

I would use Scottfitz’s army to attack Tanyafairy. She hates magic bears, and I think war would be a blast.

NPCs are fun. Which NPC would you want in your army?

I want snufflehumpsters(spelling?). Kill them with cuteness. No one can be mad after being attacked by adorable little cuddly rodents.

Tell us something you did in Illy.. that no one knows about. Bearing in mind we have impressionable children listening.

I once created a secret alt and had it run for leader of ecrow on it’s first day in the game. Kenyl was very passionately opposed to his candidacy. I’ve also got myself banhammered on purpose on several occasions in solidarity with other mcrow members. Of course, people know about both of those, but I’m terrible with secrets so there’s nothing I haven’t shared with my friends.

Have you ever thieved someone and then felt guilty about it later?

I’ve never been caught thieving, and I will admit nothing.

What advice would you give to a newbie? How about a vet?

To a newbie: Illy is all about the people. Makes friends wherever you can and never be afraid to speak your mind. To a vet: I would advise them to not siege players out of the game, even during war. People tend to quit and then the community is that much weaker for it.

Thanks again to Jane for answering our questions! She won a free trip to The Long White and a wad of mammoth fur!